Arts and Sciences
Department of Music
Scholars have often wondered why Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony has remained unfinished. To give a basis on the symphony in general, I begin with a brief analysis on the form of the piece. The form of the first movement reveals several features, which recent scholarship (Elements of Sonata Theory by James Hepokoski and Warren Darcy) has referred to as non-normative or “deformations”. These unusual features include the first movement’s untraditional modulation patterns, and the second movement’s lack of a development section. Drawing on the existing literature (Gerald Abraham in The Music of Schubert and the analysis of Schauffler in his same book; Maynard Soloman’s article Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony in the journal 19th-Century Music) as well as on the composer’s biography (Oxford Music Online, the writings of Robert Haven Schauffler’s Franz Schubert, the Ariel of Music, and through Schubert’s letters edited by Otto Erich Deutsch) I contextualize Schubert’s use of sonata form using sonata form analysis and hermeneutic interpretation to draw insights on the “deformations” and the symphony’s unfinished nature.
Coller, Jared Matthew, "Schubert's Unfinished Symphony" (2016). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 512.